The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Citizen newspapers. If you agree or disagree with something you read here, you may respond by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-787-7303, ext. 1349. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.
"Wait, President Obama wants to duplicate the public pre-k program from Georgia and implement it nationwide? The state run pre-k has been in place for almost 20 years and Georgia is still on the bottom of the list for academics and school performance. Why would we want to duplicate that? The state run pre-k prohibits their teachers from having children 'memorize' anything -- including numbers, the alphabet, or how to write their name! Studies have shown children excel who attend a quality pre-k program, but what the state of Georgia offers is babysitting."
"Obama's calling for another $2 billion to pay for his new 'green energy fund.' The other companies he gave taxpayer money to that went bankrupt didn't tell him anything. He loves playing God. Spend, spend, spend is his middle name. His Sequestration, (going into effect March 1, 2013), will cut our defense, put thousands out of work, and weaken our great nation. You people who voted him back in should be so proud? Countries who hate us are strengthening their military and rushing to acquire nuclear weapons to annihilate us. What is it going to take to wake Obama up or is it that he doesn't care? All these cuts he is making, (in all the wrong areas), would not be necessary, if he would eliminate the 'pork and political paybacks.' We need to turn back to God, so He will once again -- bless America. The choice is ours."
"As if the Feb. 5 BOC weren't embarrassing enough, the meeting Feb. 19 should convince any doubters that our county procurement system is horribly broken. First they 'table' approving the Feb. 5 BOC minutes, after an off-microphone conversation between the chairman and the lawyer. Then there was no re-vote, as publicly suggested by Commissioner Douglas, on the lawn service contract, nor mention of bidding the recycling contract. If you left early, you missed a real piece of theater as Commissioner Levie Maddox recused himself and left the room for the scrap materials contract. (A bid was inappropriately accepted) from a company Commissioner Maddox is related to for '2 percent above other bidders.' I had it wrong at first, possibly because John Middleton mumbles and doesn't speak into the microphone, and Commissioner Maddox corrected me in a conversation I had with him after the meeting. I thank him. Clearly he was involved in their bid, otherwise -- since he left the room -- how would he know? Attention Newton County bidders: You no longer need to submit an actual price for your services -- just 'I'll beat all the other bidders.' What is the familiar phrase one of our commissioners is oft heard to say -- 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' I submit that our BOC processes are horribly broken. It needs to be fixed, now. The good news: There is NOW someone assigned to check if a bidder has a valid business license. More embarrassing than a thing to be proud of."
"A word to the citizens of Newton County about the lawn maintenance contract. I bid on the contract in 2001 and lost it to the current contractor, low bidder. I also bid on the contract in 2006 and was supposed to get the contract according to the then county contracting officer. However, when she did her recommendation to the BOC they said no they were going to give it to Durden's Lawn Maintenance even though he was $30,000 more per year. ... I filed a formal appeal but lost it. I'm retired from the federal government and managed procurement and contracting for years. I don't understand why our commissioners are doing what they do. Mr. Douglas said he was going to fix things Tuesday at the BOC meeting. Well, as the politician he is, he didn't. He's running for a higher office, so I guess he is qualified based on his actions in the last two BOC meetings. I think he went to Wal-Mart (Aisle 2) and got the Obama book on Politician 101! I gave a bid in 2006 which was a fixed contract with no add-on's and guaranteed for five years. I will still offer this same deal today. Why won't the county look at this? Who is the Durden tie in the Commissioner's pool? ... I have been a citizen of Newton County for almost 20 years, I own eight properties in Newton County. I am a business owner and have held a business license in Newton County for 16 years. I have the City of Covington lawn contract (seven years) and over 30 commercial contracts in the area. I have never raised my price nor added fuel adjustments charges to my lawn maintenance customers. This contract needs to go out for bid. I may not even bid on it but someone else needs the opportunity to bid it. There are a lot of professional lawn contractors in the area that should have the bid option. Bottom line, my beef is not with Durden, he like me is trying to make a living. My issue is the BOC - we elected you to do the right thing for US! So, do the right thing! If contracts are over five years old, they need to be opened for competition."
"The BOC does not disappoint! As expected, Commissioner Douglas did not follow through on his promise to revote to bid the Lawn Services Contract. The confusing policies did not prevent the vote. The BOC could have voted to solicit the new contract without the "revised" policy being in place. It appears that Commissioner Douglas is a true blue politician; say what he thinks you want to hear and continue doing what he wants to do. According to a Newton Citizen article, one of the commissioners stated "the county no longer has a purchasing office." I'm sure that Mary Ann Patterson and the employees of the Purchasing Department listed on Newton County BOC's own website are surprised by this. If they aren't purchasing, what are their jobs and purpose to the county? I don't understand why the BOC feels that they must rewrite the purchasing policies. They have staff, purchasing department (according to their website), that could help provide them with guidance on the vague policy. They also have a county attorney that SHOULD be able to research the issue and clarify it for them. If it is found that this portion of the purchasing regulations is ambiguous, then they could revise it or even adopt policy from other well established documents such as the Georgia Procurement Manual. Why recreate the wheel? Based on the article, it seems rather than change the one part of the policy that was confusing, they are rewriting the policy to suit their own purposes. Why raise the dollar amount of those items that must be solicited? I'm sure these limits were set at the lower amount for a reason. To me it seems that it is another way to remove government transparency and give the BOC the power to continue to run amuck, spending county money as they like. I agree with Commissioner Schulz, the county manager should not have the power to make the purchasing decisions proposed. The taxpayers have a right to know how tax dollars are being spent. BOC members, get over your power trip and utilize the resources and staff that you have before you just randomly vote to spend the taxpayers' money. Get information from the employees and utilize the information without penalizing the employees for their honesty because they don't agree with you. Find out what is working and what is not, determine where changes need to be made to improve the scopes of work and/or contracts. After the awards, allow the employees to do their jobs and monitor the work to ensure that the county is getting what they are paying for. Your jobs aren't to be dictators, but rather decision makers. But how can you make a decision when you aren't informed? If the county manager needs work, he can gather the information or employees necessary to report to and inform the BOC of upcoming contracts, their status, and what is needed. Do your homework, don't just vote!"
"I was calling about the new police chief in Atlanta. Guess what? He's black. Question is, when was the last time any white person was appointed to anything in Atlanta?"